Colorlines - Mon, 11/18/2013 - 21:52
President Obama has nominated Debo Adegbile, senior counsel for the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, to take over as head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division. The former head of that division, Thomas Perez, is now Secretary of the Department of Labor. While Adegbile served as an attorney for the Senate Judiciary, working primarily on crafting a new Voting Rights Act bill, he's more popularly known as the lawyer for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund who argued on behalf of preserving the Voting Rights Act before the U.S. Supreme Court. Adegbile defended it twice before the high court, successfully helping to protect it when it was challenged in 2006, and again this past February before Chief Roberts' court gutted the landmark civil rights bill. Adegbile also represented Hurricane Katrina evacuees in a federal voting rights lawsuit shortly after the storm.
"Our country needs someone like Debo with significant experience in voting rights to protect the deeply held American value that each person has the right to a voice in our democracy," said Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP LDF. "Debo has precisely the type of broad civil rights experience that is required at this pivotal moment in our country."
If Adegbile is confirmed to serve as the Justice Department Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, he will lead in enforcing the remaining sections of the Voting Rights Act, along with those of the Civil Rights Act to protect people of color and other protected classes from discrimination.
Adegbile is the son of parents who immigrated to America from Ireland and Nigeria. As a child he coped with poverty and homelessnes before working his way through law school by way of loans, various jobs and scholarships. He is now considered one of the premiere civil rights attorneys in America.
Colorlines - Mon, 11/18/2013 - 21:50
For many indigenous peoples around the world, moccasins are big part of ones’ culture. Moccasins are often a baby’s first pair of shoes, created from a plant or from the hide of a specific animal from the region, and they are worn during most ceremonies. Although mass-produced moccasins have gone in and out of fashion for non-Natives, handmade moccasins, which are often hand beaded, hold a special significance for indigenous peoples, but they’re not always worn in public.
Two years ago Jessica Jaylyn Atsye, 21, who is tribally enrolled with Laguna Pueblo, set out to change that when she started Roc Your Mocs, a call for Natives to wear their moccasins every November 15. She started her effort in Laguna Pueblo, the event has taken off with Natives on social media. It’s expected that tens of thousands within the United States will be wearing their moccasins today. We recently caught up with Atsye to talk about the beginning of Rock Your Mocs and where it’s headed next.
How did Rock Your Mocs get started?
It started in 2011, and I actually chose the November 15th date randomly. Somewhere in my mind, I knew that this was Native American Heritage month. But Rock Your Mocs started off jokingly one day when my mom, siblings and I had just finished a ceremony. We got back home, I was looking at my feet, and I said something like, “These mocs are so comfortable, I wish I could wear them every day.”
And so I decided to start a day when all Natives could wear our mocs together, because they mean everything to us. Mocs go everywhere we go. Mocs see everything we see. They’re a big part of our culture. For some, it’s deer hide. For others, it’s moose hide. For the Laguna Pueblo, we wear deer or elk hide. But I’ve always been in tune with other nations, and we all wear mocs. So I told my mom about the idea, and she encouraged me to go for it.
I posted it on Facebook as an event, but back then, it was hard to even get 20 people to join. I think we only had about 100 people at most.
Now you’ve got more than 13,000 signed up on your page alone, and there are other Rock Your Mocs pages on Facebook, along with a hashtags on Twitter and Instagram.
I’ve seen that there are a lot of Rock Your Mocs events, and I think that has a lot to do with Emergence Productions—they promote Native artists. They like that I took this initiative and are now promoting the event, all for free. So more people know about it, and of course it means different things to different people. But I think we all understand that we can be side-by-side in the world. Everyone gets the unity part of it, and for me, that’s really awesome. It makes me really happy to see that [Natives] are still here, and that we know that we are still here. It gets people excited about our cultures, about our nations. And I like that [Rock Your Mocs] is being used a bridge the gap between urban [Natives] and traditional life—all connecting back to who we are, and to our roots.
How do you feel about the event turning so popular this year?
There was a point in my life when I really didn’t know where I was headed and the response to Rock Your Mocs has made me feel blessed. I have the opportunity to make a difference in this world—and I mean the world. This isn’t for indigenous people in Laguna Pueblo, or within the United States; this is really for indigenous people everywhere.
This gives me hope for the next generation, and to keep going for them. We know that we can’t forget out identity, our culture, our roots. [You] can have a lot of money, and big, luxurious stuff but you can’t buy where you’re from, and you can’t buy a tradition. And so I’m blessed. I’m blessed to be a part of this.
Where did you spend your first two Rock Your Mocs years?
The first year I was here at Laguna Pueblo. The second year, I went to Santa Fe, New Mexico, just to see who was rocking their mocs. I went to Santa Fe Indian School, and everyone was wearing them. Then, I went to the Institute of American Indian Arts, and took a lot of photos, because everyone was wearing them there, too.
What are you excited about for this year’s?
This year, I’m going to be a guest on Native America Calling to talk about Rock Your Mocs. Miss Pueblo of Acoma is hosting a Rock Your Mocs community walk and corn dance. I know that the University of New Mexico is having an event, too. My mom works at a local senior center, and they’ll be rocking their mocs. Hopefully soon, we’ll have our own place to host this annual event.
Colorlines - Mon, 11/18/2013 - 21:41
Holiday shopping season is nearly upon us (or already here, if you've seen the inside of a department store recently). It's the time of year when stores have the rapt attention of eager shoppers hungry for deals. So figure workers at Walmart, it's also the time of year when they'll have the best chance to be heard in their fight for a living wage from the nation's largest retailer, and largest employer.
In the run-up to Black Friday, the veritable U.S. shopping holiday, Walmart workers around the country have been stepping up their actions. On Wednesday, Walmart workers at three Chicago-area stores went on strike to protest their poor wages and the retaliation workers have received for speaking out about them. On Tuesday, 200 workers from Seattle-area Walmart stores protested the same as well. Last Wednesday, workers from six Los Angeles stores staged a two-day strike, culminating in a protest Thursday night outside the company's Chinatown store with 500 workers, activists, clergy and community members. At that protest, 54 people were arrested after blocking a street in what organizers have called the largest act of civil disobedience in Walmart history. Evelin Cruz was one of those 54 arrested. Cruz and striking Walmart workers are members of OUR Walmart, a union-backed workers group. The 42-year-old mother works at Walmart's store in Pico Rivera, a working-class suburb southeast of Los Angeles. Cruz started as a cashier, "ten years ago this January," and today is a department manager for the photo and wireless departments.
She spoke with Colorlines after a shift at work about her job, why she's risking losing it to speak out, and how she'll be spending her Thanksgiving this year.
Evelin can you explain why you took part in last week's action?
The reason we went on strike last week was for Walmart to actually pay the associates a living wage and to stop retaliation against asosciates who speak out. When anyone speaks out regarding any issue they're having with Walmart, Walmart either writes us up or fires us, illegally. We're tired of what's going on in these stores. They're cutting people's hours and people can't survive on 16 hours a week of work, not at minimum wage.
Has anything happened to you for your involvement yet?
Yeah. I've been written up for attendance, and they're counting the days that I'm on strike.
What does getting written up mean for you and your job?
After three write-ups you no longer have a job, so your livelihood is gone.
Given that risk you're taking, what do you want to use this time to share with people? And why do you still want to speak out?
The reason I want to speak out is because there are a lot of scared people that haven't opened their eyes to the possibilites of what can happen when we come together to speak up. Walmart's not only the largest retailer, they set the standards for every other retailer. And that's why it's been important for me to take a stand now.
Can I ask you Evelin, how much do you make?
It's a laughable wage. It's $13.60 an hour.
What's your take-home pay then?
Take-home pay is about $780 every two weeks.
And do you have a family?
I have a child, but I am one of the very few lucky ones that is from a two-income household and my son is also older. He's 20.
What does making $13.60 an hour mean for you?
I started as a cashier at $7.40 an hour which then was minimum wage and I decided to go back to school. That's why I started working at Walmart. Now, at $13.60 an hour, if I had to live by myself I would barely be making enough money to rent a room in California. Now imagine someone starting now at minimum wage [currently $8 an hour in California] who has a child. They're unable to support their family or themselves. Walmart says they provide healthcare. Yeah, they give you opportunity to purchase healthcare but you can't afford it. You either put food on the table or you pay for healthcare. You can't do both.
You went back to work the day after you got arrested. What was that like when you showed up at the store?
People were very aware because we started [the strike] on Wednesday morning here in front of my store. When we come back to work, they look at us like we're crazy. People are scared. At Walmart on a daily basis they have morning, afternoon and evening meetings and at the meetings they give you those sales reports. They tell us, "Our customer counts are down or our sales are bad. Our hours are not going to be the greatest and there's going to be so many cuts. They make sure you know you're very lucky to get the hours that you get." And then, once in a while they throw in, "We have so many people applying for every position out there," to make you know that you're easily replaceable. And they have been holding captive audience meetings, they say, "We didn't ask you to come work for us, you came to us asking for a job."
And, to me, that's a threat. I dont think anyone likes to work under these conditions, yet we do.
I've heard people say if you dont want to work at Walmart you don't have to. And, in this economy you're lucky to have a job. I suppose the same things Walmart is telling you, their workers. What do you say to people who say that?
I tell them: I do like my job. I like providing services to people, and I am lucky to have a job, but I should be able to have a good job. And Walmart's not only a job. It's a job creator that sets the standard for every other industry out there.
Walmart is gearing up for Black Friday sales and you are also gearing up for Black Friday actions. What will Thanksgiving day be like for you?
As a department manager, on Thanksgiving day we're supposed to be [at the store] at 7am, and most likely we will go home by 12 o'clock, to come back to work at 5 o'clock. Sales this year start at 6pm on Thanksgiving day. Most likely we will not be out of the store until after midnight. And, then Friday we will have to come back sometime during the back for another 8-hour shift. That would leave us less than 8 hours to rest.
Is there anything you want from people who support you and support workers?
What I would like for communities surrounding a Walmart is to go out and support the workers who are going to be out on strike. At the end of the day, the consumers are our bosses, and if Walmart doesn't want to listen to workers inside the stores, they will listen to consumers.
Can you spell it out for people who want clear directions?
Come out, bring a sign. Bring some water. Whatever would move them to do something, whatever they are moved to do, that is what they should do. If it moves them to go in the store and leave a note, or call corporate--1-800-Walmart--then that's what they should do, becasue this monster of a retail store is setting the trend for every other one. I remember a couple years ago, Target wouldn't open for Thanksgiving. Now that Walmart's doing it, everybody else is doing it.
Is there anything else you want people to know about why you're speaking out and doing so at such great risk to yourself?
Yeah, I would like them to know that I consider myself very lucky to be in a two-income home, and I have that privilege of not being so afraid. I'm not out there just for myself I'm out there for every associate inside the stores that's too scared of losing their job. Because that's what we're putting on the line, our job. And I will continue doing so until we're heard.
Colorlines - Mon, 11/18/2013 - 21:26
It's not just Walmart's in-store workers who are demanding better pay. Up and down the Walmart supply chain workers are fighting back. Today, truck drivers who transport goods from the Port of Los Angeles to the Costco, Forever 21 and the retail behemoth's stores are staging a surprise strike.
Truck driver Jose Galindo told Salon's Josh Eidelson he's considered an independent contractor, which is a convenient classification which forces him to foot the cost for even work basics and allows his employers to pay him less:
"Like employees, they tell us where to go - we can't negotiate on many things," said Galindo. But "we pay for gas, tires, maintenance" out of pocket, "even though the truck is not ours." Lacking minimum-wage protection, he added, "Sometimes I can be stuck at the ports for three or four hours" waiting in line, "and the company doesn't pay us for the time." Galindo told Salon that after he ripped a shoulder tendon while working on the landing gears of his truck, his disability payments were cut off early because the company told the government he was a contractor.
Walmart truck drivers, warehouse workers, and store workers have been organizing very public actions the last two years, including strikes, protests and civil disobedience to demand better wages and an end to the worker retaliation which has followed those who speak out. More are planned as the holiday shopping season heats up.
Colorlines - Mon, 11/18/2013 - 21:18
Fourteen years after the original hit theaters, the sequel to Malcolm Lee's 1999 film "The Best Man" made a big splash at the box office. The Best Man Holiday collected $30.6 million on its opening weekend, more than twice what analysts projected, according to USA Today.
The film had a budget of just $17 million and was marketed almost exclusively to African American women. For compairson's sake, the Marvel sequel "Thor: The Dark World" had a total budget of $170 million and took in $38.5 million over the weekend.
The original Best Man film, which was released in 1999, took in only $17 million on its opening weekend. USA Today also notes that it's just the latest in a series of films with black casts that have done remarkably well this year at the box office, including Ryan Coogler's "Fruitvale Station" and "Lee Daniels' The Butler."
But USA Today also managed to put itself at the center of the story over the weekend when it ran a controversial headline that read, "'Holiday' Nearly Beat 'Thor' as Race-Themed Films Soar." The headline set off a social media firestorm with many people pointing out that just because the film sported a majority black cast -- including Nia Long, Sanaa Lathan and Terrance Howard -- it was a story of love and friendship, not racial injustice. The headline was ultimately changed to"'Holiday' Nearly Beats 'Thor' as Ethnically Diverse Films Soar."
New America Media - Mon, 11/18/2013 - 20:45
A new memorandum issued by the Department of Homeland Security will now halt the deportation of spouses, parents and children of active duty service members, reservists, and veterans. The memo also allows those relatives to apply for permanent residence, often... Colorlines http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Colorlines - Mon, 11/18/2013 - 19:50
It's no secret that we at Colorlines have a special place in our hearts for "Totally Biased," comedian (and Race Forward board member) W. Kamau Bell's FX show. The last episode aired this weekend, and it's with deep sadness that we bid farewell to the show. Bell's comedy on race, gender and culture is the rare combination of smart and actually funny, and he brought his refreshingly direct takes on all of it to television five nights a week. Here now, we offer a look back at "Totally Biased"'s wonderful run, with the hope that we see these comedians on TV again very soon.
Stop-and-frisk has never been a funny matter, until Bell took it on in this classic segment.
Bell headed to Times Square to ask: What don't people know about your culture? One man says: "The square root of one minute is 15 minutes."
Beloved actor and activist George Takei chats it up with Bell about his family's internment during World War II; what it's like to be an Internet sensation; and knowing his base--geeks and nerds.
"It's time to grab the world by the balls. And then rip 'em off!" Janine Brito and Aparna Nancherla disagree on what progress for women means.
Dwayne Kennedy takes on the Washington, D.C. NFL team's offensive name, and offers some novel solutions.
Unlocking the Truth is the Brooklyn metal band made up of pre-teens. Bell's interview with them is somehow heart-warming and rock-and-roll badass at the same time.
Comedian Kristina Wong and Bell break down the Asian dating fetish which afflicts so many white men.
Hari Kondabolu's segment on the National Spelling Bee (also known to Kondabolu as "the Indian Super Bowl,") is full of comedy gems.
Colorlines - Mon, 11/18/2013 - 19:46
GQ Magazine put Kendrick Lamar on the cover of its annual Man of the Year issue, but the rapper's camp is now speaking out about the accompanying profile, calling it "offensive" and filled with "racial overtones."
Lamar was one of the five celebrities to get covers for the issue, including Justin Timberlake, Will Ferrell, Matthew McConaughey and James Gandolfini. The Compton native was interviewed by GQ's Steve Marsh and was slated to perform on November 12 at the magazine's Man of the Year party. But Lamar pulled out of the performance at the last minute. Anthony "Top Dawg" Tiffith, the CEO of Top Dawg Entertainment, Lamar's record label, then released a statement taking issue with Marsh's portrayal of the rapper and his communtiy in GQ. Here's a snippet:
Instead, the story, written by Steve Marsh, put myself and my company in a negative light. Marsh's story was more focused on what most people would see as drama or bs. To say he was "surprised at our discipline" is completely disrespectful. Instead of putting emphasis on the good that TDE has done for west coast music, and for hip hop as a whole, he spoke on what most people would consider whats wrong with Hip Hop music. Furthermore, Kendrick deserved to be accurately documented. The racial overtones, immediately reminded everyone of a time in hip-hop that was destroyed by violence, resulting in the loss of two of our biggest stars. We would expect more from a publication with the stature and reputation that GQ has. As a result of this misrepresentation, I pulled Kendrick from his performance at GQ's annual Man Of The Year party Tuesday, November 12th.
GQ's editor-in-chief Jim Nelson responded with a statement of his own on Friday, saying that he doesn't really understand why there's a problem:
Kendrick Lamar is one of the most talented new musicians to arrive on the scene in years. That's the reason we chose to celebrate him, wrote an incredibly positive article declaring him the next King of Rap, and gave him our highest honor: putting him on the cover of our Men of the Year issue. I'm not sure how you can spin that into a bad thing, and I encourage anyone interested to read the story and see for themselves. We were mystified and sorely disappointed by Top Dawg's decision to pull him at the last minute from the performance he had promised to give. The real shame is that people were deprived of the joy of seeing Kendrick perform live. I'm still a huge fan.
Colorlines - Mon, 11/18/2013 - 19:12
Nearly half of the estimated 47 million people who rely on food stamps are children, and a new interactive map from the Pew Charitable Trust breaks down those numbers state by state. SNAP benefits were cut by $5 billion on November 1, and the South, where close to 20 percent of the overall population uses food stamps, was the hardest hit region in the country. In Mississippi, 22 percent of the population relies on SNAP benefits, 370,000 of whom are children, and 119,000 of whom are elderly or disabled people. But states like Oregon, New Mexico and Maine also have high numbers of people relying on food stamps, and Congress is still considering even deeper cuts. Check out the map on Stateline.
(h/t NPR's The Salt)
Colorlines - Mon, 11/18/2013 - 16:02
Los Angeles-based chef Roy Choi is careful to talk about his success as a blessing for which he's grateful, but he can't hide the excitement in his voice when he talks about Kogi, the fleet of Korean taco trucks that he co-created with friends Mark Manguera and Caroline Shin in 2008. The first Kogi truck has become one of L.A.'s most popular hotspots--Newsweek called it "America's first viral eatery." And Kogi eventually spawned two restaurants, Chego and The A-Frame.
Choi says people have repeatedly asked him how he came up with such a distinctive flavor. He's answered with this month's "L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food" (HarperCollins), a book that's part memoir, part cookbook. In it, Choi reveals that his fusion of food and cultures comes naturally to him because, as a second-generation Korean-American who grew up among L.A.'s Latinos, bicultural fluency is what he knows best. In this interview, the celebrity chef dishes on the new flavor of America.
Did you know that your book would be a big deal while you were writing it?
Maybe it's a chef's instinct, but if I'm cooking something really delicious there's a moment when [I] know it's going to be something special. I had that same moment when I was writing the book with [food writers] Tien [Nguyen] and Sasha [Phan]. I would call them up and I would say, 'Man, we're onto something here!' And they would always tell me not to jinx it. But I knew we were locked into a voice, a perspective and an honesty that was pretty rare.
What's the most meaningful reaction you've gotten so far?
The most special moment I've had so far was up at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park because all the students came out. Some of them even cut class to be there. That eagerness was awesome to feel because sometimes as adults, especially in the workplace, you get jaded. ... It was also awesome to see their lives now, before they graduate, and just imagine where some of them are going to be in 15 years. They might be revolutionaries in this field and they don't even know it yet.
Why did you focus on fusing foods and cultures? Why not just have a Korean food truck or a Mexican taco truck?
Well, Kogi was an idea that my partners came up with, but the reason it evolved the way it did was because I'm not from Korea. I was born there, but I was raised in L.A. I don't even speak Korean, but I'm Korean. I grew up around Latinos, but I'm not Latino. The thing about Los Angeles is we can be whoever we want to be. In many ways, we have our own culture but we don't thump our chest with it. ... What it means to be Los Angeles, it means that things just mesh together and they can actually change. That's the whole ethos of our city.
With L.A. being this place where so many different cultures come together, what do you think that models for the country and for the rest of the world?
Well, the difference is that our city celebrates growth. We don't look backwards. We don't have this long lineage of history that we're trying to protect or we don't want to see dissipate. We're a city of immigrants, as well. Not only do you have a city itself that was built off of the Gold Rush and through the Wild West and Hollywood, but you also have a town of immigrants where the whole culture of leaving your home, completely erasing it, and disconnecting from everything that you are and starting all over again. You start over as whole new human being and I think that's fascinating to think of as a culture. I think of my parents and my immigrants that come through, the young families that work in my restaurant, the lives they had before this and how they just uprooted and left and then started a whole new life. I think that part is something that could help other areas as far as politics go, the fact that we don't hold onto things. We're willing to change things if it makes sense at the moment.
Last question. It's 2 a.m. and someone wants to go get something to eat in L.A., where do they go?
They would go to a taco truck. In Koreatown you'd go to El Taurino and get carne asada tacos and horchata.
New America Media - Mon, 11/18/2013 - 12:10
There’s been as much myth as fact regarding John F. Kennedy’s civil rights legacy in the more than fifty years before, during and especially after his assassination on November 22, 1963. In the days before he delivered his now famed... Earl Ofari Hutchinson http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New America Media - Sun, 11/17/2013 - 20:27
UPDATED Story - Nov. 20, 2013 & VIDEO LINK SAN FRANCISCO — A week after Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda, one of the strongest tropical cyclones in recorded history barreled through central Philippines, Filipino-American community members gathered at the Philippine Consulate... Text: Odette Keeley, Video: Odette Keeley, Sean Shavers & Valerie Klinker http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New America Media - Sun, 11/17/2013 - 12:00
above photo: Writer Sharline Chiang (photo courtesy of Sharline Chiang)My mother called like she did every week. "How are you?" she asked in Mandarin."Fine," I lied."How's the baby?""Good." That was true.Then, once again, I rushed her off the phone. "I'd... Sharline Chiang http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New America Media - Sat, 11/16/2013 - 12:10
It was Christmas Day, 2011, and Jeremy Lin was alone on a plane flying back home to Palo Alto, Calif. The second-year NBA player had just been placed on waivers again, this time by the Houston Rockets. Two days later,... Young Rae Kim http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New America Media - Sat, 11/16/2013 - 12:00
above photo: From left to right, Larry Loo, director of business operations with the Chinese Community Health Plan, Peter Lee, executive director of Covered California, Angela Sun, executive director of Chinese Community Health Resource Center.SAN FRANCISCO – Eager to get... Viji Sundaram http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
New America Media - Sat, 11/16/2013 - 12:00
NAM Editor's Note: The following report was culled from a live youth chat and survey conducted by Youth Radio in collaboration with New America Media.Are you more likely to be bullied online or in person?Pose that question to 64 young... Bianca Brooks and Sophie Varon http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Colorlines - Sat, 11/16/2013 - 01:43
A new memorandum issued by the Department of Homeland Security will now halt the deportation of spouses, parents and children of active duty service members, reservists, and veterans. The memo also allows those relatives to apply for permanent residence, often known as green card status.
Citing that soldiers face anxiety over family members' immigration status, the memo explains that the nation has made a committment to service members that starts at enlistment and continues through once service members become veterans. The new rules outlined in the nine-page document apply on a case-by-case basis, and those relatives accused or convicted of criminal charges are not guaranteed relief.
President Obama has already provided a temporary stay for certain undocumented youth under a program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. The new memo makes it so that a permanent stay--and path to citizenship--is extended for military relatives. But many immigrants who do not fit into these categories are still targeted for detention and deportation.
In a statement today, National Day Laborer Organizing Network organizer Marissa Franco said, "We applaud the step and it underscores the truth that the President can and should do more, for all families. The President has the legal authority and the moral obligation to significantly expand upon the memo released today."
New America Media - Sat, 11/16/2013 - 00:50
Fifty thousand Chinese Americans rallied in 27 U.S. cities last Saturday to protest what they call racist comments made during the Jimmy Kimmel Live! show that airs on ABC. The show’s host and ABC have apologized for the unscripted comments... Staff http://publisher.namx.org/mt-cp.cgi?__mode=view&blog_id=19&id=103
Colorlines - Fri, 11/15/2013 - 23:16
Colorlines - Fri, 11/15/2013 - 22:51
Latino leaders came together in Sonoma, Calif. yesterday to continue pushing local officials to address the death of 13-year-old Andy Lopez. Among the members of the Latino leadership group Los Cien was Irene Rosario, who argued that police attitudes towards the Latino community were similar to a "war zone," and are responsible for Lopez's killing.
The FBI recently opened an independent investigation into the shooting, and the Lopez family has also filed a civil rights lawsuit against Erick Gelhaus, the sheriff's deputy accused of shooting Lopez seven times while he was walking home from school carrying a toy gun. Gelhaus remains on leave from the Sonoma County Sheriff's Department, and some say he's unlikely to be charged. Lopez supporters have created a petition to call for the City Council to charge and remove Gelhaus from the police department, and continue to organize events and demonstrations via social media
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